The student news site of Wakeland High School

Wakeland Access

The student news site of Wakeland High School

Wakeland Access

The student news site of Wakeland High School

Wakeland Access

We Became Chefs – Here’s How it Went

Ella Chadwell, Mason Chadwell, Katie Lee

In French class, we learn all about French food, culture, and language. One that stood out to us was how important food is to the French people. So, what better way is there to explore French culture than to cook French food. 

We selected three dishes to cook that would give us a variety of cooking techniques and flavors to try. These dishes were Steak au Poivre (main dish), Gratin Dauphinois (side dish), and Chocolate Mousse (dessert). We headed to the closest HEB to get our ingredients and the price was quite high. After getting all the ingredients, we headed back to Katie’s house to start cooking.

First, we made the chocolate mousse since it had to chill in the fridge. This recipe was quite simple, except for folding the mousse. We whipped all of the egg whites and whipping cream until they formed stiff peaks. Next, we melted the butter and chocolate and whisked it together, so we could start the folding. Folding all of the yolks, egg whites, whipping cream, and chocolate was a delicate task because if the mousse is over-folded it loses its foamy texture, and becomes flat. Once all the ingredients are folded, we divide the mousse into cups and then they are put into the fridge to chill. 

Next, we made the Gratin Dauphinois, which is thinly sliced potatoes in cream, topped with gruyere cheese. We skinned the potatoes, and then sliced them into thin slices. This is when the recipe was different from most potato recipes. We had to boil the potatoes in milk and minced garlic, then we had to take the potatoes out and pour the milk and garlic mixture into a separate bowl. After, we added the heavy cream as well as the spices into the pan and whisked them together. Then, we added the potatoes back and brought them to a simmer until the potatoes were tender. We then added the potatoes to a baking pan and poured the milk and garlic mixture over the potatoes, then covered the top with gruyere cheese. Finally, we put the pan into the oven and waited until the cheese on top had a nice golden brown color. 

The final dish we made was Steak au Poivre. Steak au Poivre is steak cooked in herbs with a nice creamy and kind of acidic peppercorn sauce. This dish has a lot of different flavors working together like the earthy flavors of the coarsely ground peppercorns and herbs, the acidic flavor from the special fermented grape juice, and the creaminess of the heavy cream to tie it all together nicely. We started the recipe by cutting the little bit of bone off the top and rubbing salt, coarse ground pepper, and thyme on both sides of the steak. Then, we added oil and herbs to the pan and cooked the steak until both sides had the golden brown color. Afterwards, we took the steaks off the pan and put them on a separate plate. Next, we added the special fermented grape juice and the heavy cream to the pan and stirred it together to make the sauce. Finally, we added the steaks back and let it simmer with the sauce while making sure that we spooned the sauce over the steak while it finished cooking. 

Once everything was done, we plated our steak and potatoes and got the mousse out of the fridge. It was time to enjoy the meal. Bon appetit! 

 

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